When golf (eventually!) returns, here are 4 stories to look forward to

March 16, 2020
cups sit empty at the players championship

Professional golf is canceled for the foreseeable future.

It would’ve been easy to miss in the chaos of the past week, but let me reiterate: pro golf will not take place for at least a month, and maybe longer.

It’s a bit unnerving in these trying times not to have something like golf to go to for an escape. Watching Rory McIlroy hit big beautiful draws can be therapeutic. Phil Mickelson hit towering flops. All of a sudden, those escapes are gone, and I’ll be honest — it’s a bit uncomfortable.

I wish I had some relatively obscure story from one of the “other” tours to unearth this week, but with the PGA Tour’s hiatus also comes a break for its development tours. No Korn Ferry Tour. No PGA Tour Series-China. No PGA Tour Latinoamérica. No Canadian Tour.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, wherever that may be — golf will come back, eventually. Here are a few storylines we can look forward to when some sense of normalcy returns to the world of golf.

Mito Pereira closing in on Tour card

Mito Pereira leads the Korn Ferry Tour standings as the schedule comes to a halt. With 759 points, he sits in terrific position to become the first player to clinch their PGA Tour card on the season.

Last year, it took 760 points to take home a Tour card at year’s end, so Pereira is on the cusp of eclipsing that threshold this season. Davis Riley, David Kocher, Andrew Novak and Dylan Wu round out the top five of the standings and all sit in excellent position to make the leap to the PGA Tour.

Michael Whan goes to bat for his players

In the midst of the nationwide sports cancellations, the LPGA Tour — whose season hadn’t yet kicked off — got lost in the shuffle. But there was a particular moment during the week from this tour that stood out.

While the PGA Tour was grappling with their decision on how to continue with their season, the LPGA Tour announced their own cancelations. LPGA Tour Commissioner Michael Whan took to Twitter shortly later and went to bat for his players.

“To all sponsors who endorse @LPGA athletes,” the tweet read. “PLEASE consider disregarding # of events they play or how many times they are televised in ‘20! I know they want to play, but we are keeping them (and others) safe. Please don’t penalize them for my decisions!! Respectfully, Mike.”

The tour had already gotten out in front of things with earlier cancelations on their Asian swing, but this statement was some powerful stuff. Impressive leadership from Whan in the face of adversity.

New events on the Korn Ferry Tour

If (and this is a big if) the PGA Tour returns after the would-be week of the Masters, the Korn Ferry Tour will get back into action debuting back-to-back new events. The Veritex Bank Championship and the Huntsville Championship are scheduled to be played in Texas and Alabama, respectively, starting April 16.

The Veritex Banks Championship is scheduled to have CBS Sports Commentator Tony Romo in the field competing in the shadows of AT&T Stadium, where he played 13 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. He’ll be searching for his first made cut in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

The tour heads to the Ledges Club in Alabama the following week, making another stop in the state after visiting Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail last spring.

Mini tours still rolling (for now)

Even in the midst of a stoppage for the upper echelons of pro golf, mini tours are — for the time being — still competing.

Lots of the fringe players on the development tours will surely feel the economic impact of this stoppage. Money can already be tight in minor league golf, so don’t be surprised to see some familiar names on the mini tours around the country as they try to stay sharp and make some extra cash.

Keep an eye on the Monday Q Info twitter account for storylines from these tours. If you’re a golf fanatic, it’s one of the best follows in golf.

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